Purpose This paper aims to analyse the impact of the European Union (EU) Directive on the quality of sustainability reporting under the institutional theory lens. Specifically, the authors evaluate what kind of institutional pressure has the highest impact on the quality of corporate disclosure on sustainability issues. Design/methodology/approach The authors build a quality index based on the content analysis of sustainability information disclosed, before and after the transposition of the Directive, by Italian and Spanish companies belonging to different industries. The authors use an OLS regression model to analyse the effect of coercive, normative and mimetic forces on the quality of the sustainability reports. Findings The results highlight that normative and mimetic mechanisms positively affect the quality of sustainability reporting, whereas there is no evidence regarding coercive mechanisms, indicating that the new requirements do not provide a significant contribution to the development of better reporting practices, at least in the two analysed countries. Originality/value To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is one of the few studies assessing the quality of sustainability reporting through an analysis involving the period before and after the implementation of the EU Directive. It enriches the literature on institutional theory by analysing how the different dimensions of isomorphism affect the quality of information disclosed by companies according to the EU requirements. It contributes to a better understanding of the impact of the non-financial information Directive, and the results of this paper can be relevant for regulators, practitioners and academia, especially in view of the adoption of the new Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive proposal.

Institutional isomorphism under the test of Non-financial Reporting Directive. Evidence from Italy and Spain

Posadas S. C.
;
Tarquinio L.
2023-01-01

Abstract

Purpose This paper aims to analyse the impact of the European Union (EU) Directive on the quality of sustainability reporting under the institutional theory lens. Specifically, the authors evaluate what kind of institutional pressure has the highest impact on the quality of corporate disclosure on sustainability issues. Design/methodology/approach The authors build a quality index based on the content analysis of sustainability information disclosed, before and after the transposition of the Directive, by Italian and Spanish companies belonging to different industries. The authors use an OLS regression model to analyse the effect of coercive, normative and mimetic forces on the quality of the sustainability reports. Findings The results highlight that normative and mimetic mechanisms positively affect the quality of sustainability reporting, whereas there is no evidence regarding coercive mechanisms, indicating that the new requirements do not provide a significant contribution to the development of better reporting practices, at least in the two analysed countries. Originality/value To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is one of the few studies assessing the quality of sustainability reporting through an analysis involving the period before and after the implementation of the EU Directive. It enriches the literature on institutional theory by analysing how the different dimensions of isomorphism affect the quality of information disclosed by companies according to the EU requirements. It contributes to a better understanding of the impact of the non-financial information Directive, and the results of this paper can be relevant for regulators, practitioners and academia, especially in view of the adoption of the new Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive proposal.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/797911
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